Plant Pathology

The Plant Pathology program conducts research on the integrated management of plant diseases affecting tropical fruit, indoor and landscape ornamental crops and vegetables. The research programs cover many different aspects of plant pathology and diseases including diagnosis, identification, characterization, epidemiology, and integrated management of diseases on a wide range of crops. The extension programs provide statewide leadership including educational information on plant diseases to all clients and conduct field demonstrations and evaluation of integrated management strategies for the management of diseases.

We provide plant diagnostic services for anyone who has problems with plant diseases and insect pests through the Florida Extension Plant Diagnostic Clinic ( Our services include analysis of plant material for bacterial, fungal, and viral pathogens, and the identification of insect pests.

Dr. Romina Gazis
Assistant Professor
Director Plant Diagnostic Clinic

Dr. Gazis long-term research goal is to understand the biology behind different plant diseases (Fungi, Bacteria, Oomycetes, Viruses) affecting local industries and natural landscapes and use this knowledge to develop efficient and long-term disease management strategies. At TREC, Dr. Gazis has a 60% extension and 40% research appointment. Most of her extension work is conducted through the TREC’s Plant Diagnostic Clinic. Her program serves a diverse array of businesses within the green industry, but focus mainly on commercial growers that cultivate ornamental, tropical fruits, and landscape crops. In addition to providing diagnostic services and management recommendations, Dr. Gazis leads an education program that delivers classes and workshops to different clientele, including students at different career stages, industry workers, and extension agents.


Dr. Shouan Zhang 
Associate Professor
(786) 217-9233

Dr. Zhang’s current program focuses on detection, identification, and characterization of invasive plant pathogens, biology, epidemiology and integrated management of important diseases that affect vegetable, herb, and tropical fruit crops in south Florida.Dr. Zhang’s research program (60% FTE) centers on detection, identification, and characterization of invasive pathogens by using conventional and molecular techniques, and integrated disease management for vegetable, herb and tropical fruit crops through the development of cost-effective and environmentally sound strategies that are important for providing safe food supplies and maintaining a healthy environment. Dr. Zhang’s extension program (40% FTE) includes providing disease diagnosis through the UF TREC’s Plant Diagnostic Clinic and management recommendations to growers, developing extension programs, and delivering educational materials through EDIS, fact sheets, newsletters, and other outreach activities.